The iconic Thunderbird 4 hit London today ahead of the new series broadcast.
It was a blast from the past for 'Thunderbirds' fans as the iconic yellow submarine known as Thunderbird 4 was seen taking a spin on the River Thames in London today (April 2nd 2015) ahead of the new ITV series, 'Thunderbirds Are Go'.
Thunderbird 4 hit the River Thames today
As part of the launch of the new series, which makes its return 50 years after it first aired in the UK, the stunt took place next to baffled onlookers; with the yellow rescuer cruising along aimlessly against a backdrop of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the Tower Bridge. It looked virtually indistinguishable from the vehicle that first gripped imaginations everywhere in 1965, apart from being slightly larger at fifteen feet. It took a considerable 6 weeks to build this fibreglass fantasy and all in the name of traditional puppetry TV.
'Filmed In Supermarionation' is an upcoming documentary which will tells the story of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the creators of Thunderbirds, and how they created a new way of working with puppets, named Supermarionation.
Ever wanted to know how Thunderbirds was filmed? Or how the cast and crew managed to create a series which remains alive and well in the popular imagination? Well this is your chance as a new documentary has been made focussing on AP Films, the company behind the animated puppet series.
Lady Penelope and Parker will return to narrate the documentary.
When Gerry Anderson began his filmmaking career in the 60s, he was approached to create a children's television show using puppets. With everyone's minds on the likes of 'Andy Pandy' and 'The Flower Pot Men', it was understandable that his ambitious team were reluctant to emulate that. Instead, Gerry, alongside his wife Sylvia, created Supermarionation and embarked on a pioneering marionette project releasing incredible shows such as 'Thunderbirds', 'Captain Scarlet' and 'Stingray' using basic model set ups, sound effects and pyrotechnics which turned what could've been more monotonous programs into an action-packed, thrilling adventures. They helped to change the way children's shows were seen and made, and even managed to bring their impressive creations to the big screen. Supermarionation was without a doubt one of the biggest saviours of animated television and now those original creators return to their roots to explore the impact of their work.
Continue: Filmed In Supermarionation Trailer
Blair Bunting - Flying with the Thunderbirds tells the story of advertising photographer and Nikon Ambassador, Blair Bunting's incredible day with the United States Air Force at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. The blog entry and video on his site blairbunting.com reveals he not only got the chance to photograph The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron 'Thunderbirds' elite group of pilots . . .He also ended up actually flying an F-16D Fighter! Despite being completely unqualified to fly the jet, Bravado fuelled Bunting survived the experience of a lifetime - handing the plane as it got to 9G's, managed to take a selfie in the cockpit . . . even shouting an obligatory "Helll Yeah!" Initially, he thought it may be some sort of twisted joke when the Thunderbirds flight surgeon advised him to 'get a good night's sleep before his flight'. Bunting says: "Let me put this in perspective . . . . Sleeping the night before flying is like a kid trying to sleep the night before a Christmas where Santa brings him an F-16. Not Happening." Nonetheless, after whatever sleep he could muster, Blair rocked up at Luke Air Force Base listening to heavy metal for the entire drive ". . . as it was the only thing that calmed me down." Entering the briefing room he was immediately informed the flight had been bumped up and that he needed to brief with his pilot right away. He would step to the jet in 30 minutes. . . . Any initial nerves and trepidation soon disappeared amongst the clouds as Bunting - BG-suited, oxygen mask fitted and seat belts hooked - revelled in the sky as the F-16 jet attained speeds of 500mph and went from 1.5G to 9G in half an hour. Bunting says: "Now let me try my best to explain what 9 G's feels like... Firstly, in no way is it comfortable, not even close. I began to feel my face melting away as the skin in my cheeks pulled down to my mouth. The colour from my vision was the next thing to fade away, first the reds, then the greens. Squeezing like hell, I did everything I could to get air - Phoenix, Arizona, United States - Thursday 1st May 2014
The actress will be joined behind the microphone by David Graham, who will reprise his role as chauffeur Parker
Rosamund Pike has been selected to provide the voice for Lady Penelope in an all-new version of the hit puppet adventure show Thunderbirds. Pike will join the likes of Kayvan Novak, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, David Menkin, Sandra Dickinson and Rasmus Hardiker as the newest voices behind the Tracy Island rescue team, and they will be joined in the recording booth by a familiar voice from the first incarnation of Thunderbirds.
Rosamund Pike will voice Lady Penelope in the new version of Thunderbirds
David Graham, who provided the voice for the ever-reliable chauffer Parker in the original 1960's series, has been hired to once again lend his voice to the pink Rolls Royce driving companion of Lady Penelope for the new series. He is the sole returnee for the new Thunderbirds series, which will be titled Thunderbirds Are Go! and will be a mixture of live-action, miniature sets and CGI animation.
Ever-reliable, Graham is back as the driver, Parker
The sole member of the original Thunderbirds cast returning for the ITV remake is Parker, and what a fitting return it is. Parker was always there, always reliable, and when the franchise came knocking for a contemporary reboot, who was there? Well it was Parker of course.
Rosamund Pike is set to voice the iconic role of Penelope
"I am triple chuffed to be on board the new series of Thunderbirds Are Go! and reprising my role of dear old Parker with such a distinguished cast," said Graham. "My driving skills are in good nick and I am delighted to be behind the wheel again with M'Lady. (BBC)
Continue reading: Thunderbirds (And David Graham As Parker) Are Go!
The Thunderbirds remake has been given the green-light, with ITV and The Hobbit studio in New Zealand teaming up to work on a new instalment of the classic children's television series. A 2015 release date has been earmarked, some 50 years after Thunderbirds was first launched.
According to The Guardian, Parker, Lady Penelope and Tracy Island will return for 'Thunderbirds Are Go!' made by ITV with the same New Zealand special effects studio that worked on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The best-loved show first appeared on the British channel in 1965, with Gerry Anderson's famous puppetry techniques. Anderson - whose other shows included Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and Space 1999 - died in December last year, aged 83.
The new 26-part series will feature a "unique mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets," and will "deliver a whole new level of action-adventure animation for today's audience." ITV Studios UK managing director Denise O'Donoghue said: "Thunderbirds is a highly respected brand that continues to hold recognition around the world."
Continue reading: Thunderbirds Are Go! ITV To Remake Classic Children's TV Series
Everyone's favourite strings-attached pals, the timeless Thunderbirds puppets are set to return to screens in 2015, Sky News reports.
This might be better for the generation of kids that grew up watching Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett with a bowl of cereal before school, rather than the ones who's first experience of puppetry was Team America, but Thunderbirds will return to U.K TV screens in 2015. They will air on ITV and CITV and use a mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets. ITV said it would "affectionately pay tribute" to the legacy of the original show. "Thunderbirds is a highly respected brand that continues to hold recognition around the world," said Denise O'Donoghue, head of ITV Studios, which is heading the project. "We look forward to taking the show to another level while retaining the much-loved heritage that has endured over the past 50 years."
The show will mark a momentous time for the franchise, as 2015 sees the 50th anniversary, since it hit the air in 1965. Richard Taylor, co-owner of Pukeko Pictures and Weta Workshop, said: "It is thrilling to think we have the opportunity to work with ITV on this new series inspired by this most wonderful of British shows.
Continue reading: Thunderbirds To Make Return To U.K TV Screens
Jamie Anderson, Gerry Anderson's son, made the announcement via his website on Boxing Day. The statement said: "I'm very sad to announce the death of my father, Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson. He died peacefully in his sleep at midday today (26th December 2013), having suffered with mixed dementia for the past few years. He was 83." Adding that anyone wishing to make donations in his honour should do so to the Alzheimers Society, for whom, in his later years, he became an ambassador.
Best known and loved for Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet, Anderson pushed the limits of puppetry in television and cinema. Prior to the development of CGI and other effects, Anderson made sophisticated puppets and adapted them to the needs of the shows. Thunderbirds, which began as a TV programme, filmed in Slough and airing on ITV in 1965, turned into a feature film the following year, and a further film two years later. Despite the series' enormous success it originally only ran for two seasons. Since, though, it has had numerous reprieves, most recently in the 2004 live action film of the same name. Likewise, following the success of that movie, Captain Scarlet was also made again using CGI animation for ITV in 2005.
In the Gerry Anderson fan website obituary, they said: "Anderson's unique style of filmmaking influenced the imaginations and careers of countless creatives that succeeded him, and his productions continue to be shown around the world to new generations of fans." As well as inspiring other film makers, his work is also a part of many children's fondest childhood memories. Anderson had been suffering with mixed dementia for the past two years and leaves behind three children, and his widow Mary.
Captain Scarlet Tuesday 11th January 2011
Stingray and Thunderbirds